Goal: Onboard users,
reduce fraud
Region: United States
Type of data partner: Fintech

To get more investors on the platform, Stash needed a better way for users to link their outside financial accounts.

Plaid provides a fast, simple, and secure way for Stash customers to connect their external accounts.

An easier way to link accounts

For millions of Americans who want to invest in themselves but don’t know where to start, investing apps like Stash are a welcome solution.

Founded in 2015, New York-based Stash is one of the fastest-growing financial
subscription platforms in the United States. With six million customers and
counting, its popularity can be attributed in part to its radical accessibility.
Memberships start at just $1 a month, giving customers easy and affordable
access to a suite of products including investing, banking,1 education, and
financial advice.

Many of these services require access to a customer’s outside financial
accounts. To link them, Stash previously relied on microdeposits. But this slow
and error-prone process muddled the onboarding experience, resulting in a low
conversion rate. Their subsequent experiment with an external provider wasn’t
much better.

Stash needed a simple, fast and reliable way for customers to connect their
outside financial accounts. That’s when they turned to Plaid.


With Plaid, 21% more Stash customers were able to link an outside financial account compared with the previous provider.


Since switching to Plaid, 19% more Stash customers funded their accounts compared with the previous provider.


Retention after six months is 15% higher for customers who connect with Plaid compared with those who do so using micro-deposits.

A better onboarding experience

With Plaid, users simply select their financial institution from a list and enter the
username and password for the associated accounts. Plaid now connects to
more than 11,000 financial institutions—often in a matter of seconds.

For Stash, this account-connection step triggers a series of safeguards designed
to protect both consumers and Stash. For instance, Plaid enables Stash to
authenticate the user’s outside bank account. That helps keep bad actors out.

“With any type of fraud, there’s potential liability, so we save money by limiting
our risk,” explains Dan Mendes, Senior Director of Product at Stash. “By
allowing us to verify users’ identities, Plaid helps us save money—period.”

When it’s time for customers to fund their new accounts, Stash uses Plaid to
check the balance of the customer’s outside account. This helps the new user
select a funding amount they can afford and cuts down on costly overdraft fees.

These simple interventions contribute to a better onboarding experience,
according to Mendes. In fact, since switching to Plaid from a previous vendor,
conversion rate is up 21% and the number of customers funding their Stash
accounts is up 19%.

"Plaid makes onboarding seamless and allows customers to start moving money on the platform right away. And that’s critical when we think about helping customers start their journeys towards building long-term wealth.”

Dan Mendes, Senior Director of Product, Stash

How it works


Stash's onboarding flow asks users to link their bank accounts. That triggers Link, Plaid’s simple front-end module.

Users link accounts by entering their bank username and password.

That’s it! In a matter of seconds, Stash can access the data they need to authenticate accounts and onboard new users.

Increased retention through personalization

Stash’s core services of investing, banking, and a debit card that rewards
customers with stock (the Stock-Back® Card) get customers in the virtual door.

But it’s the company’s personalized insights and guidance, such as budgeting
advice, that keeps customers coming back.

To power these services, Stash relies on the 24-month transaction history Plaid
provides. This allows Stash to share personalized financial insights with users,
helping them meet their money goals.

“Plaid gives us a good sense of what the customer’s financial life looks like,
which helps us make recommendations about how much they should deposit
or invest at any given moment,” says Mendes.

Stash is able to recommend other products based on insights from Plaid as
well. Visibility into a customer’s finances enables Stash to make personalized
offers based on spending patterns. For example, if Stash sees that a customer
subscribes to Spotify, they can suggest paying for the subscription with the
Stash debit card. In return, the customer would receive 2X Stock-Back®—a
program that rewards users with stock in the companies on their everyday

From more targeted offers to more relevant financial advice, personalization
has boosted retention at Stash. To wit, retention after six months is 15% higher
for customers who connect with Plaid, compared with those who do so using

“When people link with Plaid, we know more about them and can personalize
their experience, ultimately better helping them hit their unique financial
goals,” says Mendes.

A B2B2C mentality

Having evaluated several financial data aggregators, Mendes appreciates
Plaid’s focus on end-users, noting that the company is constantly engaged
in understanding the challenges Stash customers are facing.

“Plaid embodies a B2B2C mentality,” says Mendes.

Looking ahead, Stash plans to expand their usage of Plaid as they continue to
grow their product suite. After a year of record-high revenue, the company sees
Plaid as a key enabler of future growth.

“I don’t think Stash is truly fulfilling its mission until we’re helping all of the
American middle class,” concludes Mendes. “Plaid is critical in helping us
get there.”